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New bill proposes harsher fines against animal cruelty

Government to officially prohibit animal circuses and their promotion.

james_piscopo
James J. Piscopo
13 May 2014, 4:29pm
After the public consultation on animal circuses, the government intends to go ahead and prohibit such events.
After the public consultation on animal circuses, the government intends to go ahead and prohibit such events.
An animal welfare act, which will be tabled in parliament in the coming days, will propose harsher fines against perpetrators of animal cruelty.

Under the proposed bill, the maximum fine will be increased to €80,000 from the actual €50,000.

Parliamentary Secretary for animal rights Roderick Galdes this afternoon announced that the animal welfare council will be strengthened through the increase of NGO representatives.

The bill also defines the role of animal welfare officers who will be given more powers, such as the faculty to enter into any property through a 24-hour notice and will now be responsible for documentation among other responsibilities.

Addressing the media from Funny Farm in the limits of Siggiewi, the junior minister said that after the publishing of the white paper on animal welfare, the government intends to go ahead and prohibit animal circuses.

“Not only such circuses will be prohibited from Malta, but also we’re prohibiting the promotion of such events,” Galdes said. 

Galdes was visiting the new premises of Funny Farm, a voluntary organisation which takes in retired horses.

“In the past, Funny Farm operated from Bidnija on a private land. They asked the government for help, and since it was a just cause we decided to cooperate by converting this piece of land which was previously abandoned,” Galdes explained.

The junior minister underlined the government’s commitment to empower and collaborate with relevant stakeholders in the field.

“The input of such NGOs is enormous, if it wasn’t for such organisations the government would not be able to address all these challenges of animal welfare.”

james_piscopo
James J. Piscopo joined MaltaToday in 2013 after starting his career as a...